“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all of the time” – John Lydgate.
Decisions are something life throws at us every now and then, some more crucial than others. Without getting too philosophical, in the world of retail, decisions are made daily that affect millions of us, from shoppers, to store staff, head office workers, warehouses and more. Not forgetting the people who develop software for these retailers to run a seamless as possible.
In order to please all of the people, most of the time, retailers need a retail management system that’s just plain simple to use. Your EPoS system needs to be able to handle every stage of the customer journey, whether online, on the shop floor or at the till itself.
It’s easy to forget that the people operating the till on a day to day basis are extremely diverse. Your IT department may choose your EPoS system, but they are techy. The volunteer in the charity shop, or the student working part time don’t really care about all the back-end functionality. They simply want to use the till easily, without having to read a manual ten times before starting a transaction.
Give your retail staff what they need, when they need it to serve customers more efficiently in-store, online, or over the phone with a robust interface that makes their job easier. When looking at a new retail management system, have a think about what you need in terms of functionality, but don’t forget to ask the important people – the people who use it.
I remember being in a well-known, high-end shop in London. When paying, the young lady operating the till rolled her eyes and said “ugh, our till is from about 1850! It’s so complicated and slow and really ugly!” I agreed it was a bit chunky and waited patiently while she prodded at it. If you think about it, how many times have you had that conversation with someone when your paying for your goods? It happens more often than you think.
Recently we interviewed a Senior Sales Assistant at Neal’s Yard Remedies for a case study and one thing that stood out was when she mentioned that “Basically, Cybertill runs the whole shebang. It’s really easy to use!” This was music to our ears and a common theme from customers who are maximising their potential with their retail software.
So, what would a list of requirements look like if retailers where asked to select what’s important for an EPoS system and considered easy to use? We’ve narrowed it down to five:
- Integrated payment – arm staff with the ability to process cash, card, contactless, gift card, multi-currency, loyalty points, deposits on account, whole and part payments securely and quickly. Also, integrated chip and pin means no discrepancies, so cash out is easy!
- Hardware that looks nice – Get rid of that chunky till and replace it with state-of-the-art hardware, including mobile POS (mPOS), wireless receipt printers and make sure that installations and desktops are managed properly.
- Quick keys – Configure keys on the till interface for those fast moving, most popular items, making serving people quicker and easier.
- Always online – Process cash and card purchases at the till or mobile POS even when there is no internet connection, avoiding the queue building up with frustrated shoppers.
- Help and support – make it easy for staff to access to help, tutorials, videos, and FAQ’s to support them. Why not make this easily accessible from the point of sale interface to cut out speaking to the manager, who speaks to their manager, who then asks the IT department… it goes on.
In essence, your staff just want to do their job to as best they can, but they need the best tools available to achieve this. Many large retailers are investing in technology that takes manual tasks away from their shop staff, so they can focus on what you pay them for – selling.